WASHINGTON

Obama predicts voters will reject Republican agenda

In making the case for his re-election, President Obama is arguing that it doesn’t matter who the Republicans nominate to run against him because the core philosophy of the GOP candidates is the same and will stand in sharp relief with his own.

The president laid out an argument for a second term in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, bluntly saying that if voters believe in the Republican agenda of lower taxes, including for the wealthy, and weaker regulations, then he will lose.

“I don’t think that’s where the American people are going to go,” he added, “because I don’t think the American people believe that based on what they’ve seen before, that’s going to work.”

HUDSON, N.H.

Romney criticized for trying to make a bet with Perry

Democrats and Republicans alike are accusing Mitt Romney of being out of touch after he said during this weekend’s debate that he would make a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry even as millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet in a troubled economy.

Romney shrugged off the comment Sunday – but says he’s been reminded he’s not a good gambler.

“After the debate was over, Ann came up and gave me a kiss,” he said, referring to his wife. “And she said, ‘There are a lot of things you do well. Betting isn’t one of them.’ ”

The bet has ignited a discussion about whether Romney, a businessman whose worth is estimated at more than $200 million, is out of step.

“I would suggest to you that $10,000 is pocket change for Mitt,” said Perry on Sunday.

In a statement, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called Romney’s remark “the most out-of-touch moment in any debate so far.”

Romney tried to make the bet with Perry after Perry accused Romney of changing his book, “No Apology.”

LOS ANGELES

Lowe’s derided for stopping ads on show about Muslims

A decision by retail giant Lowe’s Home Improvement to pull ads from
a reality show about American Muslims following protests from an evangelical Christian group has sparked criticism and calls for a boycott against the chain.

The retailer stopped advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim” after a conservative group known as the Florida Family Association said the program was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

The show chronicles the lives of five families from Dearborn, Mich., a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population.

Calling the Lowe’s decision “naked religious bigotry,” a California legislator, state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, said Sunday he might call for a boycott if Lowe’s doesn’t apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads. 

PANAMA CITY, Panama

Noriega is returned home to start prison sentences

More than two decades after the U.S. forced him from power, Manuel Noriega returned to Panama on Sunday as a prisoner and, to many of those he once ruled with impunity, an irrelevant man.

He was flown to Panama City from France after finishing his money laundering sentence at La Sante prison in Paris. Noriega, 77, has also served drug sentences in the United States.

He was whisked by helicopter to the El Renacer prison to serve out three 20-year sentences for the slayings of political opponents in the 1980s. 

About a dozen protesters, identifying themselves as relatives of army officers shot by Noriega’s forces, gathered at the prison’s main entrance.